Why Roy Hodgson allowed Connor Wickham to leave Crystal Palace for Sheffield Wednesday

Roy Hodgson hopes striker Connor Wickham can rediscover his best form with a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

Connor Wickham. Picture: SWFC

The 26-year-old Crystal Palace forward returned to Hillsborough for a third loan spell last week and is set to make his Owls debut at Barnsley on Saturday.

Wickham netted in the Premier League last month in a 1-1 draw at Norwich City, but has seen his time at Selhurst Park “ruined” by injuries.

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So Hodgson allowed the striker to drop down to the Championship to solve Garry Monk’s search for a striker.

“The opportunity came up to go to a good club, a Championship club, where I’m hoping he will train every day - like he has been doing with us for a while - but he will get into the team as well and he will start to do well,” said Hodgson.

“And then hopefully when he comes back - because he is still a Crystal Palace player - we might see even the Connor Wickham that some of you might have seen four years ago, but unfortunately I haven’t seen in the three years I’ve been here because most of his time has been ruined, if you like, as a player, by injury.”

Wickham’s last loan spell at Wednesday in 2013-14 saw him scored eight goals in 11 appearances, and Owls fans will be hoping he can offer a similar return with top scorer Steven Fletcher out injured until next month.

Former England boss Hodgson simply wants Wickham to start playing regularly again.

He said: “The thing about Connor Wickham is that for the last 18 months - that’s three transfer windows - in each transfer window we have said that with all his injury problems, the fact that he does not get any regular football, he needs to go out and play football.

“This is the first time during my two and a half years at the club that he has actually had a spell of about four or five months when he has actually not spent most of the time on the treatment table.

“He has actually spent quite a lot of time on the training field. He has even made the odd appearance and got his nose into the frame for playing.

“But that does not alter the fact that what he really needs is something that I am not certain that I can give him.

“Because we’ve got Cenk Tosun that we’ve just signed. We’ve got Christian Benteke coming back from injury. And we’ve got Jordan Ayew. So we’ve got three centre forwards.

“If I’d have kept him back just to keep up the numbers, to be covered in case we get really unlucky and get two or three people going down, I might have given him another five or six months without getting him to play.”